Syria war fuelling illegal organ trade

Syrian refugees in Lebanon are left with no choice but to sell organs to provide for their families.

Syria war fuelling illegal organ trade

World Bulletin / News Desk

As the Syrian civil war enters its third year, over 2 million Syrians have fled the conflict to neighboring countries. Lebanon hosts the most Syrian refugees with as many as 800,000 of them.

However, life in Lebanon, in which many of its people live in poverty, has not been easy for the refugees. A report has claimed that refugees in Lebanon are resorting to selling their organs to illegal dealers in order to make a month’s salary.

Refugees are selling their organs for around 1 million Lebanese Pounds, which is equivalent to about $670. Kidneys are the most common organ on the market. Dealers who process the deal fetch the equivalent of a teacher’s monthly salary for each kidney that is sold.

The World Health Organization believes around 10,000 kidneys are sold across the globe every year. Lebanon hosts a disproportionately high number of these transactions.

It has been claimed that children as young as 14 are selling their kidneys to support their families in buying essentials, especially on shelter, warm clothes and blankets to survive the winter. The influx of refugees demanding housing has also increased the rent prices in Lebanon, making life that much more difficult for the newcomers.

In some cases, youths are tricked by agents who exploit their lack of information on the matter to sell their organs, telling them that they will ‘grow back’. Some children are tricked into selling the corneas of both eyes, resulting in blindness.

The surgical procedure is often rushed, leading to further complications afterwards. Those who are operated on often can’t afford the cost of check-up following the surgery, and some are even rendered unable to work.

Those who buy the organs are also sometimes tricked into poor deals by being sold infected organs.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ocak 2014, 13:28